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Lion Links: 10/5/21

Daryl Dike makes Team of the Week bench, John Brooks off World Cup qualifiers roster, Lisa Baird resigns from U.S. Soccer’s board, and more.

MLS: D.C. United at Orlando City SC Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It was a great weekend with Orlando City finally getting a win to stop the recent hemorrhaging of points the team had been experiencing. The Lions aren’t back in action until Oct. 16, but the soccer doesn’t stop with the USMNT facing Jamaica on Thursday and the Orlando Pride taking on NJ/NY Gotham FC at home on Saturday. As usual, there’s lots to discuss today, so let’s have at it.

Dike Makes Team of the Week Bench

Daryl Dike’s winning contribution on Saturday night was duly recognized with his inclusion on the bench in the latest edition of the MLS Team of the Week. In case you missed it, Dike’s stoppage time header sealed a comeback victory for Orlando City at home, stopping a winless streak of five games and giving the Lions a much-needed win. Daryl is in great form at the moment with three goals in his last three games, and if he can continue playing like this then Orlando will fancy its chances to make the playoffs this year.

Brooks Withdrawn from Roster for World Cup Qualifiers

John Brooks has withdrawn from the United States Men’s National Team roster for the upcoming round of World Cup qualifiers. The center back is currently struggling with back issues, and a replacement will not be added to the roster ahead of the team’s match against Jamaica on Thursday. Brooks is the second player to withdraw from the roster after Tim Ream removed himself due to family reasons, with Walker Zimmerman replacing him. Miles Robinson is likely written down in permanent marker as one of the starting center backs but it will be interesting to see who partners him. My money is on Zimmerman.

Baird Resigns from U.S. Soccer Board

Former National Women’s Soccer League commissioner Lisa Baird resigned her post on the U.S. Soccer board of directors yesterday, three days after resigning her position with the NWSL. Baird came under heavy fire following a report published by The Athletic that detailed some horrifying allegations made against former North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley. Particularly troubling for Baird was the fact that the Orlando Pride’s Alex Morgan tweeted out screenshots showing that Baird ignored the request from a player to reopen the investigation into Riley. Baird is not the only member of NWSL leadership to resign in the wake of the report, with NWSL general counsel Lisa Levine also resigning on Friday.

Araujo Making Mexico Switch

FIFA has announced that defender Julian Araujo has been cleared to switch his national team eligibility from the USMNT to Mexico. Araujo made one appearance for the USMNT back in December of last year in 6-0 drubbing of El Salvador. He also represented the U.S. when coming up through the youth ranks all the way up to the U-23 team. Araujo played for the U-23 team as recently as March when he faced Mexico in a qualifying match for the 2022 Tokyo Olympics, which the United States ultimately did not qualify for. Since he had yet to appear for the Yanks in a competitive game, he retained his ability to make the switch to Mexico.

Free Kicks

That does it for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.